ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Descendants of the founders of Rosecrance accepted the organization’s highest award Monday night, April 15, to honor the legacy of a country doctor and his wife in whose name the original Rosecrance Memorial Home for Children was established in 1916.
The Castle Award was given to the family of Robert and Beverly Rosecrance of Rockford at the Rosecrance Foundation Benefit. It honors the legacy and vision of Dr. James and Fanny Rosecrance, whose wills specified that their New Milford home would become a refuge for orphaned and neglected children.
The organization has grown over almost a century into one of the most comprehensive behavioral health networks in the state, providing substance abuse and mental health treatment to 14,000 clients annually.
The event drew 800 guests and raised a record $500,000 for the Kinley Charity Care Fund, which assists families who don’t have insurance or personal resources to pay for substance abuse or mental health treatment. Last year, the fund provided assistance to 324 families.
John Griffin, chairman of the Rosecrance Foundation Board, expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support for the Benefit.
“The need has never been greater, and we are serving more people who don’t have resources than ever before,” Griffin said. “For that, we are extremely grateful for the generosity of our friends who support our Benefit and the Kinley Charity Care Fund at other times of the year.”
The Kinley Fund has provided more than $7 million in charity care to patients since it was established in 1984.
Broadway veterans J. Mark McVey and Christy Tarr-McVey entertained the audience with a program of beloved songs from stage and screen. Earlier in the day, they had performed for adolescents in treatment at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson campus.
Theodora Binion, director of the Illinois Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and acting director of the Illinois Department of Mental Health, gave the invocation.
In presenting the Castle Award, Rosecrance President/CEO Philip W. Eaton said he often thinks about the how the organization started with the humble vision of a couple who just wanted to do good in the world.
“They could never have anticipated that their name would someday be held dear in the hearts of thousands of people who turn to us every year for help,” Eaton said.
“Sometimes I’m asked: Who is Rosecrance? Was that a person? I’m proud to tell our story because it starts with two people who had compassion for children and who wanted to make a difference. It continues with other good people who have the same motivation, and some of them also are named Rosecrance.”
Both Robert Rosecrance and his late father, Ralph, served on the organization’s board of directors in the 1970s and 1980s.